ADSK 2016 & Px 3.3.0 Update

A blog isn’t much of a blog without posts, and my last was WAY too long ago, so I thought I would take a break from 2016 validations to provide a little progress report.

RTC Australia
I will be in Australia at RTC next week, dogfooding Px Tools to provision the labs and playground machines. This is a great opportunity for me to do more extensive real world testing in the kind of dynamic, sometimes messy, environments that you deal with every day. As apposed to my usual, almost clinical, testing lab environment. Just in preparation for this effort I have found some niggling issues and exciting new feature opportunities which are getting addressed now. It’s an exciting time, and I am looking forward to the mayhem that is live lab support. It’s a bit like being a roadie again. In any case, if you are at RTC grab me and say hi.

Build 3.3.0
Pragmatic Rollouts (Single & Multiple Locations) build 3.3.0 is in final testing, and tentatively will be available for download on Monday, May 18th*. This build is a minor update from a functionality standpoint, and is mostly focused on preparations for the big 3.3.1 update coming soon. Build 3.3.1 will include new features to support Conforming groups of machines en-mass via ‘Conform Jobs’. Updating an entire team, office or firm will be single click easy. Think of it as the power of SCCM, with improved logging that we need for Autodesk updates (especially Revit updates) and no need for the deep IT knowledge that SCCM requires.

Specifically, build 3.3.0 includes…

  • Support for Windows 8 & 8.1
  • Expanded Directives: In addition to the Location Directive in the Multiple Location flavor, there is now an OS Directive which supports tasks that only apply to specific OS(s), and a Test Directive that allows you to flag specific tasks and packages as only for testing, which requires a flag in the shortcut to then process.
  • Various bug fixes and small refinements.
  • Groundwork for build 3.3.1.

* Between some issues found while working with a beta customer and issues found/functionality needed for RTC, I am pushing back 3.3.0 availability until after RTC. If all goes well and I don’t find any stop ship issues that need fixing, and I can validate the last few 2016 products while there, I will be posting build 3.3.0 upon my return. If I don’t make that Monday deadline then the week will be spent finalizing and 3.3.0 will be available on Friday May 22nd.

2016 ADSK products
2016 product validations are progressing nicely. By May 1st I hope to have these recipes validated and the Resources files updated. These are the products that will be included in the Resources in the 3.3.0 download.

  • 3D Studio: MAX_2016*
  • AutoCAD: ACA_2016, ACD_2016, AME_2016*
  • Navisworks: NWF_2016, NWM_2016, NWS_2016
  • Revit: RAC_2016, RME_2016, RST_2016, RVT_2016

As of this post not even the Autodesk first party Addins are available for 2016. As they become available I will be validating the recipes and updating the appropriate lessons. I suspect it will be as late as end of May before we see many if not most of the various Addins updated, and perhaps before we see some of the missing Autodesk products like Showcase and ReCap. As such, one way to approach the upgrade process is to use build 3.3.0 to validate your 2016 rollouts, then plan to do your actual rollouts using build 3.3.1 when it becomes available, by which time the rest of the ADSK products and the various addins will also be available.

* NOTE: 3DS Max Design & AutoCAD Structural Detailing have been discontinued. The functionality of MXD has been rolled in to Max, but I am not clear on what ASD users should be moving towards. If you have concrete information on what Autodesk’s recommendations are here please Email me so I can validate whatever products you will need to be rolling out.

Product chapter updates
Revit 2016 introduces some new Revit.ini options, and some inventive use of Px Tools suggests some alternative ways of managing content, especially for laptop users (thanks to Aaron Maller). As such, the Revit chapter is being revised extensively with regards to the Custom Install section.
Also, there are some opportunities for customizing Navis installs that are being documented (again thanks to Aaron Maller). And the long awaited AutoCAD Custom Install information is finally in pre-production. Look for all of those updated chapters in the next months, and in that order.

Pragmatic Rollouts for Small Firms
The Small Firms code is near final, and is being tested now along with validating the 2016 products. This course will finally go live with the new Revit customization information mentioned above, with a tentative availability date of May 29th. My apologies for the long delay, and I hope I can make the wait worth it!

Customization only course
In discussing the various courses with folks, it has come up that there may be value in a course that does not involve any of the automation code that the Pragmatic Rollouts courses include, and is instead focused solely on customizing the various products and identifying the content that then needs to be pushed out to computers, by whatever means you are already using. This course could make use of the customization information and videos already included with the rollouts course, would (at least initially) cover the various flavors of AutoCAD, Navisworks and Revit, and likely be priced at $100. If you are interested in something like this, please Email me. If there enough interest I will look into releasing this course by mid summer.

Lastly, there is a new way to get your downloads this year, the Autodesk Virtual Agent. Follow the link here, then choose Download Links on the right. Thus far the downloads have been as solid as Luke’s ‘Direct Download Links’ at his What Revit Wants blog, but the downloads are the actual products, not the demo previews. As such, there are some things that you can’t get yet via AVA that are available via the WRW links.

Autodesk Virtual Agent


And with that, back to 2016 validations and 3.3.0 code!